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Should I Upgrade to IE8?

March 30, 2009

in Internet

by David Hakala

Q: Should I upgrade to IE8? – “Grampa”

Such a commendably uncluttered question deserves an equally elegant answer:

Definitely not yet, and maybe never.

Internet Explorer 8 was released on March 19, 2009. Millions of users downloaded and installed it. Many of those users have complained bitterly of a variety of problems, and switched back to earlier versions of IE or an alternative browser such as Mozilla Firefox. By March 22, 2.59 percent of Web browsers were using IE8. The very next day, IE8’s market share plummeted to 1.86 per cent. As Eddie Murphy once said, “That’s a hint and a half for your a__!”

Information Week reported that most complaints regarded printing from Web sites, search malfunctions, image display problems, excessive startup times and the utterly astounding fact that IE8 takes up 4 gigabytes of disk space.

Unless you’re getting paid to use IE8, there is no compelling reason to endure such aggravation. Other browsers are stable, relatively bug-free, load and perform faster, and take up a lot less space. Leave the bleeding-edge stuff to intrepid software developers, technology journalists, and helpless corporate wage slaves who must use whatever their IT departments tell them to use.

Bugs are standard equipment in newly released software of all kinds. Most of them get ironed out during the first six months after the initial release. But a Web browser that consumes 4 gigabytes of disk space will never load speedily on anything but the most overpowered, expensive muscle machine. IE8 just is not worth the hassle for the majority of users.

Stick with IE7, released in 2006 and very stable now. You might want to try Firefox, Opera, or Google Chrome. I have not tried Safari for Windows, but I am skeptical of Apple Computer’s ability to write efficient software for its archrival’s operating system.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” IE8 is a solution in search of a problem. Let it pass.

David Hakala has perpetuated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at:


Jon Johnston 04.07.09 at 8:10 pm

Thanks for the article and the advise! You just saved me from a lot of problems.

Nick 04.22.09 at 2:49 am

Seems like a totally unbiased article to me… Personally I would upgrade to IE8 as I have on my home PCs as it is extremely stable and works faster than Firefox IMHO. Also I don’t care how big the application is, never have and never will – and this is from someone who has worked in IT for over 20 years so I know what I’m talking about. Microsoft may not be a saint but at least they’ve standardised the PC desktop and browsers – it’s funny that whenever I talk to people (other than Freetards) they have tried Firefox and Chrome and have all complained about them and gone back to IE. And no I do not work for Microsoft but a corporate bank in the UK and we’re still on IE6!

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